If you’re thinking of studying, ask yourself, should I try online study and if so, should I choose to study online at an Australian institution? It may seem a strange question to ask but let’s break it down.
What are the benefits of online study?
Consider this, the world is changing. Online is becoming a much more dominant part of our world and online engagement itself is part of that. Consider the example of study groups. Yes there’s value in being able to mix with a diverse range of students, but there’s also something to be said about learning how to work with and build teams in an online environment – it’s a different skill set and for many industries it’s a skill that is becoming very important to the future of industry.
But there are other benefits as well.
- Standardised quality: Due to the content being available online and in recorded mediums it can be evaluated and revised at any point in time. This helps maintain a reasonable standard of quality and guarantees that quality in a way that in-person institutions cannot manage.
- Less expensive than traditional teaching methods: As the cost of teaching is low, the expenses borne by the students inevitably come down. This makes education far more widespread and economical.
- Flexibility: This can be in terms of time, money, and location. Online learning enables the student and the teacher to be present at opposite ends of the world, in different time zones, and yet have the knowledge imparted effectively. This means that the lecturer can commit more time to the students outside of class-time, and the student can commit more time to their studies or daily lives as needed.
- Inherently Accommodating: The increased flexibility also accommodates for issues of health, family or personal crisis – a major impact in the real lives of people does not need to have a major impact on their education. This also translates heavily into matters of disability access. Online education permits subtitles, volume control, the ability to step out and come back later.
- Vast variety of available courses: These days, online courses on everything are available at the touch of a button – from religion to commerce, philosophy to fashion designing, programming to painting, photography to yoga – there is hardly any field that hasn’t been touched by e-learning.
- Study groups: There is a scope of engaging with like-minded students across the world, sharing information and ideas.
- Much less infrastructure required: This is a huge incentive to the education providers, as the additional costs are largely minimised.
A well structured online course has the potential to provide greater results than in-person learning, and offers the most power to you, the student, than any other model to date. However, even if learning online is right for you, that leads into the next question…
Who should I study with?
The first question to ask yourself is what do you expect from an MBA? Once you’ve answered that question, you may ask yourself why study within Australia specifically when the whole world of online institutions are open to you. There are a few good reasons why you should consider an Australian institution.
- You live in Australia – no matter the benefits of online education, the ability to physically go into your university, meet with your supervisors and fellow students, touch base and resolve issues should not be discounted. Even if you spend the majority of your time online, having the ability to go face-to-face when needed is a major benefit.
- Familiar Culture – every university in the world has a different culture, and you should always consider choosing a university that shares in your values. Although there is value in diversity and encountering new cultures, having familiar footing can be pivotal and learning a whole new language and culture while also learning new material may be overwhelming, so this should come down to what you value as an individual.
- Familiar Laws – for a lot of courses, you should study in the country you wish to work in. For legal, business and any economics driven courses the country you study in provides you the framework in which that country operates. If you plan to work or operate in Australia, then study in Australia should be at the top of your list.
- Access Requirements – if you have any issues of access – disability, illness, pregnancy, full-time employment – working with a university that has strong laws around these matters can give you a lot of relief and support you might not get elsewhere. In addition, if you live outside the country you study in, some supports – especially financial supports – may not be as accessible.
On the whole, it’s usually best to pick a larger institution with a strong reputation, but the most important element is that you get what you’re looking for. Figure out what’s important to you, consider what you expect to be important and what you expect to learn, and choose the university that best provides that for you.